Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Cocoa Thrush (Turdus fumigatus)


French: Merle cacao German: Kakaodrossel Spanish: Zorzal cacao

Turdus fumigatus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

River Espírito Santo, Brazil


See T. leucomelas. Race orinocensis sometimes included in T. obsoletus. Races personus and bondi, more buffish (less orange) below, sometimes considered to represent a separate species. Geographical variation to large extent clinal, and some races possibly not tenable. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. f. bondi Deignan, 1951 – St Vincent, in S Lesser Antilles.
  • T. f. personus (Barbour, 1911) – Lesser Antillean Thrush – Grenada, in S Lesser Antilles.
  • T. f. aquilonalis (Cherrie, 1909) – NE Colombia, N Venezuela and Trinidad.
  • T. f. orinocensis J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1955 – W Venezuela and C & E Colombia.
  • T. f. fumigatus M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823 – Cocoa Thrush – E Venezuela (Delta Amacuro, E Bolívar), the Guianas, N & E Brazil and E Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5–24 cm; 55–83 g. Nominate race is foxy-brown above, pale orange-brown below, with dark-streaked whitish-buff throat, whitish belly and vent, latter... read more


    Song, from middle to upper strata of trees and mostly when breeding (in Venezuela mainly first half... read more


    Lower and middle growth of humid forest and forest borders, adjacent clearings with scattered trees... read more

    Food and feeding

    Earthworms and millipedes, and berries and other fruit. Forages mainly on ground among leaf litter and in lower levels of forest, but... read more


    Mainly Nov–Jun in Lesser Antilles; Aug in Colombia; all months except Sept in Trinidad, with strong activity Feb–Jul and peak... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common. In Venezuela, uncommon to locally fairly common N of R Orinoco, and fairly numerous in E Bolívar in tall v... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Cocoa Thrush (Turdus fumigatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).